Families learn together about the Apollo 11 moon landing

GREENBUSH — Fifty years ago on Saturday, millions of people watched Apollo 11 land on the moon. 

To celebrate this historical moment Greenbush Education Service Center hosted ApolloPalooza, a free family event which included several space-themed activities. 

Every year Greenbush hosts four Greenbush Getaways and this year, one of them happened to be on the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon.

“This is a way to get families engaging in hands-on activities together,” Camp and Enrichment Coordinator Emily Joy Roth said. 

During the event the families participated in several activities‚— including an Apollo 11 tribute video, photo booth with a space suit, a spray painting station to create planets or the solar system and rocket launching. 

The families also worked together to code Ozo Blocks, which they called “lunar landers” on Saturday. They programed or coded their lunar landers to fly to the “moon” and back. 

There was also a room dedicated to learning about different phases of the moon with cookies. 

Through virtual reality, the families put on headsets to go see what it was like for an astronaut to prepare to go to space. 

“People can put on the virtual reality headset and go through their entire apollo process, from astronaut training to landing on the moon,” Roth said. 

Many of the activities included history, science, math and technology. Most importantly, Roth said, they are doing it all together. 

“Kiddos go to school every day during the school year but a parent, an adult or guardian can only do so much with their kiddos at home ... but whenever they come here they can actually engage with their kids and learn with them,” she said. 

One of the parents, Joe Hugo, of Pittsburg, said he brings his children Braxton and Parker to the observatory nights at Greenbush. The event was another way to learn more about space together. 

“We love the outreach that they do,” Hugo said. “It’s always engaging and educational and it’s something all of us can enjoy together.

“It’s not just focused on young children, it’s fun for the whole family.” 

One of Parker’s favorite parts of the Apollo tribute video was when the rocket launched into space, he said. According to Parker, the best part of space is the “adventure” taken by the astronauts and learning about what they went through to land on the moon. 

“We get to learn about other planets,” his brother Braxton chimed in. “And the moon,” Parker also added to the list of things they learned about during ApolloPalooza. 

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.